To all of Lily’s friends:
At 5:30 PM on Tuesday May 13, 2008, our little Miss Lily made her way to the Rainbow Bridge. Over the two days prior, the ever-present spark in her eyes faded and she had become so frail and weak, the abuses of her past finally catching up with her, surpassing her ability to keep up the fight. Tuesday evening our vet came to the house and helped her on her way. Rich and I buried her in a very quiet area in our back woods with Tasha and Molly and many of our dogs at our sides. Interestingly, the only moments of sunshine on an otherwise dreary day were right upon her grave as we laid her down. No surprise at all…. she loved the sunshine so much.
We are just devastated, especially my husband, who was Lily's constant companion. Thank God we have a couple of rescue Iggy's right now - despite that no dog could come close to replacing Lily, I think they will help fill the void a bit, strange little creatures that Iggy's are.
When I think back to the day that I saw Lily crammed in the back of her cage at Reedgate Kennels, I whispered her a promise - "I will free you from this hell no matter what the cost and we will shower you with love until the day you die." Our family can take pride in keeping every word of that promise, not knowing then what Lily would come to mean to so many people for so many reasons.
Lily was a serious dog, stripped of her ability to be a typically silly Italian Greyhound because during her first seven years of life she had no opportunity to move or socialize with what came to be her favorite thing in life - people. What she did find in herself in time though, was courage. When she found her courage, she let everyone know about it, climbing into the laps and arms of total strangers and sharing her very special love with everyone around her. No one walked away from Lily the same person. Her tiny, disfigured little self moved grown men to tears, many times. Over this past year, Lily and the story of her life educated hundreds of people about the plight of mill dogs and the realities of the commercial dog breeding industry. My husband believes that Lily is perhaps the most important dog in history (not that he is at all partial).
When Lily was rescued in February 2007, she suffered from several medical conditions. She had severe pyometria (infected uterus), several mammary tumors, and from years of no care her entire mouth was rotted to point that she was completely missing her lower jaw. The latter would prove to become life threatening as it eventually led to cancer. Lily was so brave through four surgeries and unspeakable amounts of pain as we worked so hard to improve the quality of her life. Unfortunately, the years of no care won over and we were unable to give her more than just over a year in our home. However, during this past year Lily knew nothing but love and she was truly a treasure in our home. She will always be “one of those dogs”, one you can never seem to let go of, one whose face you can see simply because you want to. To our family, Lily has made us stronger, kinder people and our world a better place to be.
We will continue the fight in Lily's name to bring about permanent change in this criminal industry. Please join us in our efforts and tell everyone you know the story of Lily and the plight of mill dogs everywhere, as she continues to watch over them from the heavens.
This video is in QuickTime format, please wait for it to download and then double click the box above to view her video tribute. You will only need to download it once, if you wish to view it again simply come back to this page.
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